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Saturday, October 31, 2009

They are all different, and chemo brain strikes again...

That last part rhymes is your pronounce "again" with a long a sound, by the way....

When Nathan gets sick, he gets very, very sick. He's had pneumonia more times than I can remember. A few years ago, when the children were stricken with a horrible influenza, Nathan was so sick, I actually took him to the doctor because I was worried. I'm not known for taking my kids to the doctor because I'm worried (and usually I wait too long). At that time, he couldn't sit up in the doctor's office. After every long, intense soccer tournament, Nathan gets sick. If he gets stressed, he shortly thereafter gets sick.

Aidan, on the other hand, has only once even been seen by a doctor when ill because he simply either doesn't get sick or he recovers quickly. When he was five months old, he was hospitalized with croup. At that time, the doctors told us to expect that he'd be in the hospital for 3-5 days. He was released within 14 hours, cough free. Since then, he's not ever been sick enough to warrant being seen by a doctor. When he gets colds, he has a runny nose for 3 days...maybe. That adage of a cold lasting 7 days or a week? Not Aidan's colds. Chicken Pox? He blew through the whole cycle in three, maybe four, days. And that was after multiple exposures to the virus. That horrible flu that laid Nathan out for nearly two weeks a few years ago, made Aidan sorta-miserable for 1.5 days. It was his first experience with a fever. He was 11? A vomiting flu that laid Tynan out for 3 days and Nathan for 3 days....Aidan vomited once and was lethargic for a day. Recently he missed two days of school for a stomach virus...and was perfectly fine on day three, where his brothers moved through it much more slowly...I think Nathan had symptoms for four days and Tynan off and on for longer than that.

Tynan, now, is a mixture of both brothers. He seems to come down with things rather easily, but doesn't stay down for long. However, at times, when he goes down, he goes down hard. He's my strep kid. Neither of the big boys has ever had strep, but Tynan had it multiple times when he was younger. There was one summer when he was sick with strep from May until July, I think. He also gets sinus infections (I'm so happy he's learned to neti, which has pretty much fixed that problem), and his infections linger, and linger, and linger....sometimes. He was the child with the perpetual infection one year....he missed 17 days of school because he kept spiking fevers and was never fever free for 48 hours (that was the year of flu...and the strain the kids had was contagious until fever free for 48 hours). Finally, the doctor ordered an MRI and culture and discovered a little, tiny pocket of sinus infection, that when cultured ended up being an "archaic" strain that responded best to old fashioned penicillin as opposed to the newer antibiotics. So he's a weird one, Tynan is.

Yesterday, the doctor declared that Tynan probably has H1N1, just through process of elimination. He did a rapid flu test, but those give false positives for H1N1 in over 50% of cases, so the negative result, in the face of his symptoms, probably isn't a true negative. Plus, he responded quickly to anti-virals. And he's up and down, down and up. Looks like a raccoon...very pale, very dark circles under his eyes. Incapacitating head aches. Then shortly after, feels OK. Ice cream seems to help.

We've been dosing him with vit. C, vit. D, oscillococcinum, and keeping him pretty much quarantined in the family room. He's not coughing too much. Fever comes and goes, but seems much lower today (I should probably take it at some point). I'm mostly avoiding him, and he me. He hasn't complained about aches today, and he's gotten some wonderful "Daddy time" since Lou is running interference for me.

So, he and I suck down our Tamiflu.

And that chemo brain? I collected essays yesterday and was really intending to get them all graded by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. I do round 5 on Wednesday, and although I don't feel sick until late Friday at the earliest after chemo, I don't focus so well with the steroids I'll start taking Tuesday and feel the effects of until some time Friday. Being cranked on steroids is NOT a good way to approach GSW 1100 essays. Focus is an issue, and one of the other side effects is irritability. I get irritated enough without drug enhanced irritability. 1100 student essays require a special sort of Zen. And my Zen goes far, far away within minutes of my first dose of Decadron. I normally handle Zen and the Art of 1100 Maintenance quite well lately. But not cranked on deccies....

Well, there's an example of chemo brain...I had no intention of writing about Decadron.

What I'd intended to say 120 or so words ago was that I have this stack of essays; I was intending to grade 20 or so today, tomorrow, Monday; I totally blanked on "sterilizing them" which is what I've been doing for several years now (and I've avoided getting sick for quite a few years, since I've started consciously avoiding student germs). So, now I'm two hours behind because I pop them in the over for at least two hours. It may not be a perfect solution, but I really have had fewer "student" illnesses since I've started collecting essays in a box/basket, baking them, and also not letting students use my textbooks (and avoiding touching their books and computers).

Drat. I had such great intentions. Double Drat. Two hours in the oven means I won't get to them before I have to start getting dressed for the Halloween party. I can't believe I totally forgot about this.

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